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Japan 4 (Sawa 13,39,80, Ohno 15) Mexico 0
att: 22,291; at Leverkusen
Captain Homare Sawa scored a hat-trick as Japan breezed into the quarter finals of the World Cup with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Mexico.
Japan never looked back after two goals in a three minute spell put them in command within the opening quarter hour. Sawa put them in front via a far post header from a free kick taken by Aya Miyama and two minutes later, Yuki Nagasato took advantage of some slack marking to set up Shinobu Ohno to drill home from just inside the penalty area.
Mexico were showing little as an attacking force and Japan continued to press, seeking more goals to further push home their advantage. Six minutes before half time, another set piece led to them increasing their lead, this time a Miyama corner was floated to the near post where an unmarked Sawa headed in her second goal.
It could have been even worse for the Mexicans before the interval with Nagasato finding the net but being denied by an offside flag in what was a close decision.
Early in the second half, Mexico produced their first threatening attempt on goal when a long range effort from Stephany Mayor brought out a good diving save from Ayumi Kaihori.
Back came Japan and Nagasato struck the post with a shot on the turn. The resulting corner, taken by Miyama, was an inswinging kick which clipped the top of the bar.
With ten minutes remaining, Sawa completed her hat-trick and shot herself to the top of the World Cup scoring charts when a flowing team move culminated with Yukari Kinga breaking down the right and cutting in before feeding Sawa to find the net from ten yards.
Japan: Ayumi Kaihori, Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Kozue Ando (sub Mana Iwabuchi 69mins), Aya Miyama, Yuki Nagasato, Homare Sawa (sub Rumi Utsugi 83mins), Shinobu Ohno (sub Nahomi Kawasumi 69mins).
Mexico: Cecilia Santiago, Veronica Perez (sub Teresa Noyola 79mins), Luz del Rosario Saucedo, Alina Garciamendez, Natalie Vinti, Natalie Garcia, Stephany Mayor, Monica Ocampo, Maribel Dominguez (sub Kenti Robles 62mins), Dinora Garza, Nayeli Rangel (sub Liliana Mercado 45mins).
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